Turmeric – The Golden Spice

What is turmeric?

Turmeric is a spice that comes from a plant. Turmeric is also known as Curcuma, Curcumin, Halada, Haldi, Haridra, Indian Saffron, Nisha, Pian Jiang Huang, Rajani, Safran Bourbon, Safran de Batallita, Safran des Indes, Turmeric Root, and Yu Jin.

Turmeric should not be confused with Javanese turmeric root (Curcuma zedoaria).

Turmeric is commonly used to flavor or color curry powders, mustards, and other foods. The turmeric root is also used to make alternative medicine.

Turmeric has been used in alternative medicine as a possibly effective aid in reducing blood cholesterol, reducing osteoarthritis pain, or relieving itching caused by chronic kidney disease.

Turmeric has also been used to treat stomach ulcers. However, research has shown that turmeric may not be effective in treating this condition.

Other Uses of Turmeric

Other uses not proven with research have included:

  • Cancer –
    Curcumin leads to several changes on the molecular level that may help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis – 
    Arthritis is a common disorder characterized by joint inflammation. Many studies show that curcumin can help treat symptoms of arthritis and is in some cases more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Alzheimer’s disease 
    Curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has been shown to lead to various improvements in the pathological process of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • inflammatory bowel diseases – 
    Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Most studies used turmeric extracts that are standardized to include large amounts of curcumin.
  • Natural Anti-Inflammatory Compound
    Chronic inflammation contributes to many common Western diseases. Curcumin can suppress many molecules known to play major roles in inflammation.
  • Lowering the risk of a heart attack after bypass surgery. –
    Curcumin has beneficial effects on several factors known to play a role in heart disease. It improves the function of the endothelium and is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant.
  • Antioxidant –
    Curcumin has powerful antioxidant effects. It neutralizes free radicals on its own but also stimulates your body’s own antioxidant enzymes.
  • Benefits Against Depression – 
    A study in 60 people with depression showed that curcumin was as effective as Prozac in alleviating symptoms of the condition.
  • May Help Delay Aging and Fight Age-Related Chronic Diseases – 
    Due to its many positive health effects, such as the potential to prevent heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, curcumin may aid longevity.
  • Curcumin Boosts Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor, Linked to Improved Brain Function and a Lower Risk of Brain Diseases –
    Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain.

Turmeric Herbal Supplements

It is not certain whether turmeric is effective in treating any medical condition. Medicinal use of this product has not been approved by the FDA. Turmeric should not be used in place of medication prescribed for you by your doctor.

Turmeric herbal supplements can be bought in a lot of places. There are no regulated manufacturing standards in place for many herbal compounds and some marketed supplements have been found to be contaminated with toxic metals or other drugs.

Herbal/health supplements should be purchased from a reliable source to minimize the risk of contamination.

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Turmeric for Weight Loss

According to a study conducted at the Tufts University, curcumin can actually suppress fat tissue growth.

  • Turmeric has certain anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the inflammation in the body, which is one of the factors causing obesity. Curcumin, an antioxidant, suppresses the inflammatory condition in fat, pancreatic, and muscle cells.
  • According to a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition, this can help reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and other metabolic conditions.
  • Another way in which turmeric helps in losing weight by regulating sugar levels and further preventing insulin resistance. This results in excess fat that is not retained in the body.
  • Safe consumption of turmeric increases the bile production present in the stomach. Bile is a digestive juice that helps in emulsifying fat and metabolism.

How to use turmeric for weight loss?   

  • One way is to drink turmeric tea. All you need to do is to pour a cup or two of water into a saucepan and boil it. Once the water comes to a boil, add a dash of turmeric to it.
  • In case you want to add cinnamon, you could add a stick or powder to it. Cinnamon also helps lose weight. Stir well and pour it in a cup and drink when it is lukewarm.
  • Another way is to add it into curries, rice dishes, desserts, and other delicacies regularly.
  • Turmeric milk is another option. Heat the milk for about six to seven minutes on medium flame. Pour the milk into a glass and add the turmeric powder. Stir well.

Remember, turmeric is not a miracle spice; you will have to eat a healthy diet combined with exercises to lose weight.

The same applies to all spices, herbs, or any other nutritious food, even if they have been proven to beneficial for weight loss.

Turmeric and Black Pepper – A Powerful Combination

Turmeric, also known as the golden spice, is a tall plant that grows in Asia and Central America.

It gives curry its yellow color and has been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years to treat various health conditions. Studies support its use and show that it can benefit your health.

But coupling turmeric with black pepper may enhance its effects. In recent years, research has confirmed that turmeric has medicinal properties. And while most people think of it as nothing but a seasoning, black pepper can benefit health as well.

Both turmeric and black pepper have key active ingredients that contribute to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and disease-fighting qualities.

Curcumin in Turmeric

The key compounds in turmeric are called curcuminoids. Curcumin itself is the most active ingredient and appears to be the most important.

As a polyphenol, curcumin has several advantages to health. It’s a strong antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal properties

However, one of the greatest downfalls of curcumin is that it’s not well absorbed in the body.

Piperine in Black Pepper

Black pepper contains the bioactive compound piperine, which is an alkaloid like capsaicin, the active component found in chili powder and cayenne pepper Piperine has been shown to help relieve nausea, headaches, and poor digestion and also has anti-inflammatory properties

Still, its most significant benefit may be its ability to boost the absorption of curcumin. The piperine found in black pepper enhances curcumin absorption, making it more readily available to be used by your body. As a result, combining curcumin with piperine increases its potential health benefits

Side effects of turmeric

While turmeric does provide potential health benefits, it creates some risks that are worth considering before consuming large amounts.

Upsetting the stomach

The same agents in turmeric that support digestive health can irritate when taken in large amounts. Some participants in studies looking at the use of turmeric for cancer treatment had to drop out because their digestion was so negatively affected.

Turmeric stimulates the stomach to produce more gastric acid. While this helps some people’s digestion, it can negatively affect others.

Blood-thinning properties

The purifying properties of turmeric may also lead to easier bleeding more easily. The reason for this is unclear. Other suggested benefits, such as lowered cholesterol and lowered blood pressure, might have something to do with the way turmeric functions in your blood.

People who take blood-thinning drugs, such as warfarin (Coumadin), should avoid consuming large doses of turmeric.

Stimulating contractions

You may have heard that eating foods seasoned with curry can stimulate labor. Although there exists little clinical data to back up this claim, studies suggest turmeric can ease symptoms of PMS.

Pregnant women should avoid taking turmeric supplements because of their blood-thinning effects. Adding small amounts of turmeric to food as a spice should not cause health problems.

Affiliate Disclosure: I am grateful to be of service and bring you resources, like this. In order to do this, please note that whenever you click the links in my posts and purchase items, in most (not all) cases I will receive a referral commission.

REFERENCES:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318405

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric

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